Finding common ground between evolutionary biology and continental philosophy

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (3):327-348 (2007)
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Abstract

This article identifies already existing theoretical and methodological commonalities between evolutionary biology and phenomenology, concentrating specifically on their common pursuit of origins. It identifies in passing theoretical support from evolutionary biology for present-day concerns in philosophy, singling out Sartre’s conception of fraternity as an example. It anchors its analysis of the common pursuit of origins in Husserl’s consistent recognition of the grounding significance of Nature and in his consistent recognition of animate forms of life other than human. It enumerates and exemplifies five basic errors of continental philosophers with respect to Nature, errors testifying to a philosophical fundamentalism that distorts the intricate interconnections and relationships of Nature in favor of a preferred knowledge rooted in ontological reductionism. It shows that to discover and appreciate the common ground, one must indeed study “the things themselves.”.

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